A couple of days ago, the penultimate episode, No. 7, of Lovely, Dark, and Deep released. I can’t believe the book’s serial run is almost done! You’ll be able to pick it up for $1.99 through next Tuesday, and then the whole book can be downloaded like a regular book for $3.99. The print edition is due out May 13.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share the background of some of the the names of the LDD characters. Read on to leave a comment and be entered for a $5 Amazon gift card!
I had already planned out some of the characters and their names—particularly Shane Burke and Gillian Campbell and the bad guy, Weston Flynn—long before I wrote the book. I knew Shane would have a sidekick, and that Gillian would have a niece and a sister. I knew Shane would have an uncle, and that they’d need someone up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, to help them out. But none of those folks had names.
It was while I was working out the plot details of the book and getting my characters formed that my BFF Dianne’s beloved dog died suddenly. She’d had him since he was weaned, and he had a HUGE personality. It just so happened that my eldest dog’s name was Shane, and my friend’s dog was named Jagger. When I went through my harrowing two-month evacuation for Katrina, I camped out at her house, and Shane, a 25-pound fireball of a terrier, and Jagger, my friend’s behemoth of a black lab, became big buddies.
You see where this is going.
I hadn’t intentionally named the character of Shane Burke after my 15-year-old dog, but I did nickname his best friend Jagger after my canine friend. Then it began to snowball. Here are the stories behind some of the other characters of Lovely, Dark, and Deep:
* Harley, the owner of the bar of the same name, was my friend Stella’s beloved cocker spaniel.
* Charlie, Shane’s uncle, is named for my friend Lauri’s corgi mix. She lost him last year.
* Chevy and Cleo, the Nova Scotian couple who help Shane and Gillian on their quest, were two rescue greyhounds belonging to my friend Debbie. (Cleo and Shane, by the way, were NOT buddies.)
* Tank, Gillian’s dog, is named after my dog Tanker, a black chow-retriever mix who recently turned 14. His personality is very much like Gillian’s dog. Tanker likes me. He tolerates my friends and family. Everybody else? Dog food.
* Gillian’s niece, Holly, is Jagger’s feline “sister,” and Ricky, the harbormaster at Main-a-Dieu, Cape Breton, is Jagger’s canine “brother,” a Sheltie furball. Ricky’s wife, Keitha, was another much-loved dog for my BFF.
* Gillian’s sister, Gretchen, is named for my friend Nancy’s much-missed Rottie.
* Cleo McKnight’s maiden name was Huckaby, named after my friend Lora’s rambunctious chocolate Siamese, who also provides much material for Sebastian in the Sentinels series.
And there you have it! I usually come by my character names in other ways. They either come to me out of the blue—like Gillian Campbell—or I end up struggling with baby-name books, or use a family name.
Today’s $5 gift card to Amazon, BandN or Book Depo goes to a commenter who leaves the name of their favorite pet, past or present!